Overview and Responsibilities of Gunsmiths
– Gunsmiths can be employed in factories, armories, sporting goods stores, or small gunsmith shops.
– Gunsmiths must possess skills in parts fabrication, metalworking, woodworking, and shop mathematics.
– They must also be knowledgeable in ballistics, chemistry, and materials engineering.
– Gunsmiths need to be skilled in using a variety of tools and measuring devices.
– Those in small gunsmith shops must also have skills in small business operations and compliance with laws.
– The primary responsibility of a gunsmith is to ensure guns work safely.
– Gunsmiths inspect guns for safe mechanical operation and repair deficiencies.
– They look for improper assembly, missing parts, cracks, bore obstruction, and other problems.
– Gun schematics are used to guide inspections and diagnose firearm issues.
– Gunsmiths notify customers of unsafe conditions and prevent catastrophic failures.

Common Tasks of Gunsmiths
– Disassemble, clean, inspect, lubricate, and reassemble guns.
– Remove corrosion and touch-up finishes.
– Repair damaged parts with files and stones.
– Replace defective parts and perform hand-fitting as necessary.
– Add aftermarket customizations such as sling-swivels, recoil-pads, and scopes.

Specializations of Gunsmiths
– Custom builder/designer: Builds guns to customer specifications using raw materials and shelf parts.
– Finisher: Applies various chemical processes to develop corrosion-resistant surface layers on metal parts.
– Repair specialist: Focuses on diagnosing and fixing feeding, ejecting, and firing problems.
– Stock maker: Fabricates wooden stocks to customer specifications and fits them to existing receivers and barrels.
– Barrel specialist: Repairs dented shotgun barrels and re-crowns damaged muzzles.

Advanced Tasks of Gunsmiths
– Measure and correct head-space dimensions.
– Troubleshoot and repair firing problems.
– Fabricate replacement parts from metal stock.
– Modify trigger-pull weight through stoning of trigger mechanism parts.
– Design and build complete rifles, shotguns, or combination guns from start to finish.

Gunsmithing Programs and Training
– Pennsylvania Gunsmith School
– Trinidad State Junior College Gunsmithing program
– Yavapai College Gunsmithing School
– National Rifle Association of America short courses
– Lassen College gunsmithing program
– Military training programs such as the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) and various MOS designations in the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Navy.
– Apprenticeships and machinist skills, including learning directly from professional gunsmiths, attending NRA short courses, and acquiring basic machinist skills.
– Legal requirements for gunsmithing, including gun laws, licensing, and regulation.
– International gunsmithing practices and regulations in countries such as Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
– ATF regulations for gunsmiths, including record-keeping, inspections, and potential penalties for violations.
– Legal restrictions on gunsmithing, including licensing requirements for manufacturing gun receivers and restrictions on certain modifications.
– Notable gunsmiths throughout history, such as Honoré Blanc, Hugo Borchardt, Nicolas-Noël Boutet, the Browning family, Henry Deringer, Louis-Nicolas Flobert, John Garand, Richard Jordan Gatling, the Hawken brothers, Alexander Henry, Benjamin Tyler Henry, Kunitomo Ikkansai, Erik Jørgensen, Mikhail Kalashnikov, and Ole Herman Johannes Krag.Sources: